1 (16-ounce) package dried red kidney beans
1 pound spicy smoked sausage
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 celery ribs, chopped
1 medium-size green bell pepper, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 (32-ounce) container chicken broth
3 1/2 cups water
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Hot cooked rice
Garnish: chopped green onions
Rinse and sort beans according to package directions. Place beans in a Dutch oven; cover with water 2 inches above beans, and let soak 8 hours. Drain beans, and rinse thoroughly; drain and set aside.
Cut smoked sausage into 1/4-inch-thick slices.
Sauté sausage in hot oil in Dutch oven over medium heat 5 to 7 minutes or until sausage is golden brown. Remove sausage with a slotted spoon, and drain on paper towels, reserving drippings in Dutch oven. (Store sausage in refrigerator until you're ready to stir into bean mixture.) Add celery and next 3 ingredients to hot drippings, and sauté 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add tomatoes, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 7 minutes.
Stir in beans, broth, and next 5 ingredients; increase heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil. Boil 10 minutes; reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until beans are tender. Stir in sausage, and simmer 30 more minutes. Serve over hot cooked rice. Garnish, if desired.
Note: For quick soaking, place kidney beans in a Dutch oven; cover with water 2 inches above beans, and bring to a boil. Boil 1 minute; cover, remove from heat, and let stand 1 hour. Drain as directed, and proceed with recipe. For testing purposes only, we used Conecuh Original Smoked Sausage, which is spicy.
The Dinner Bell Restaurant, McComb, Mississippi, Southern Living, MARCH 2006